"Today’s announcement is about expanding equity," said Mayor Eric Adams Thursday.
Adams is fulfilling a campaign promise by reviving the gifted and talented program in schools, as well as bringing it to every district across the five boroughs.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio eliminated the program last year, after much controversy, and data that found it overwhelmingly benefited white and Asian students.
"Every year the fight that parents must go through over a small number of seats, that fight concludes today," said Adams.
There will be two possible entry points into the program for elementary students--kindergarten and third grade. The city is adding a 100 kindergarten seats and 1,000 third grade seats.
"The top 10% of second grade academic performers in every school will be invited to apply to gifted and talented programs with preference being given to students applying to programs in their home district," said NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks.
Acceptance into these programs won’t be based on a single test. For 3rd graders, the determination will come from academic scores from all core subject areas. For pre-K, teachers will identify students and invite them to apply. City public school parent Susie Gould thinks it's a promising new system.
"Without the test you’re really able to get our teachers’ recommendations so they can see the whole breadth what the child is capable of which I believe actually gives them the ability to assess if someone is truly the right person for gifted and talented," said Gould.
But other public schools parent, like Yasmin Khakoo, do not believe there should be any type of gifted and talented program.
"I think everyone should have access to similar educational resources. Once you start distinguishing between G&T and non-G&T, you are creating a hierarchy and an unfair system," said Khakoo.
The expanded program will begin for the upcoming 2022-2023 academic year. Applications for both the Kindergarten and 3rd grade programs open on May 31st.